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Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 14, 2014
Any orchards around you, ya know any local tree cutters,


Master of the Pit
Joined Jan 30, 2018
I’m in So Cal so very few options outside purchasing retail. I do charcoal for heat with wood chunks for smoke.


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Aug 13, 2015
I can slice firebox sized pieces off my fireplace Oak, but for Hickory or Mesquite I buy it at Home Depot or Lowes by the bag. Not a lot of those around here and I'm not the only one looking for it...


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Jun 9, 2020
I’m in So Cal so very few options outside purchasing retail. I do charcoal for heat with wood chunks for smoke.
Look on craigslist. I just checked inland empire region and plenty of options. If you have a truck there are lots of options that I would guess are within an hour for oak, almond, walnut and orange. Next time I am down that way will load the truck up with orange wood.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Oct 17, 2014
When we lived in CA the supply from orchards and ranches was unlimited, and usually free. Since we moved to AZ where no hardwood trees grow in the dessert I get bags of hickory from Cabelas and BPS, and my SQ36 eats a lot of wood. No charcoal for me. RAY

Western BBQ Mini-Logs | Bass Pro Shops


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Do yourself a big favor, pop over to Amazon and pick up a moisture meter.
You can get one for under $30 and it will work.
When you do find firewood (oak, pecan, hickory) test it for moisture content before laying down the cash.
Most chainsaw jockeys don't know or don't care how long a particular tree has been "down" before they declare it "seasoned" and sell it off to unsuspecting cooks.
That's fine for fireplace work but causes all kinds of headaches when used in a smoker.
Super dry wood is light like balsa and burns away too quick (but does provide good smoke flavor).
Wood that's too wet or not seasoned long enough will burn too hot, release less that ideal smoke profile and create too much coals which drives cook chamber temp too high without allowing you to add more sticks to increase the smoke profile in the meat.
Ideally you are looking for 15% moisture (up to 20% or so).
These will burn medium quick and medium hot producing excellent smoke flavor in the meat.
Also the coal base will not get too large but burn away just about in time to add another stick.
Burning sticks produce the smoke that (when heated high enough by the coal base to scrub the nasty chems out) flavor the meat.
Coals produce some flavor elements but do the scrubbing of the fresh smoke from new sticks, that, well, see above.


Master of the Pit
Joined Jun 11, 2013
I usually find a local person who will sell a truck load of wood at a reasonable price. like half a chord. i usually pay extra to have them cut it short and split it twice. because i will 12 inches thick as a coke can.

Happy Smoking,
phatbac (Aaron)

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